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Label: Frontiers Music s.r.l.

Release Date: June 9, 2023

Rating: 98%

Reviewer: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

I always have great intentions when it comes to reviewing new music, but life, work, and everything else often gets in the way.  As I listened through the latest from The Defiants, I vowed to NOT let that happen on this one.  Disc opener “Hey Life” sets the pace with riffs, vocals, and a killer driving beat from Bruno Ravel on bass and drummer Van Romaine that cannot be ignored.  The overall vibe of the track takes from the bands origins and influences and builds itself with a modern feel that marries two eras and delivers on every level.  I dare you to try and keep your feet still and not sing along by time the second verse comes along.  “Go Big Or Go Home” keeps the energy up without being repetitive or overdone.  The song takes me back to some time between 1986 and 1991 before grunge stole the keys to the rock kingdom.  The fret work throughout this one will give the biggest air guitarist fits trying to keep up.  “What Are We Waiting For” is a great track that weaves together all of the different sounds and vibes of the other tracks and weaves in some keyboards for good measure.  The vocals seem to soar across the chorus and verse without effort while the background vocals perfectly support the track at times while the guitars and bass pump along.  “Against The Grain” is another rocker driven by Rob Marcello’s guitar riffs and perfectly accompanied by the rhythm section and lead vocals.  This one has some modern rock radio feel smashed into its DNA without losing the overall feel of the disc that takes you back to your youth, if you were a teen in the 80’s.  “Love Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” is a fun one that swirls together a ballad-like opening and verse with a rock chorus that draws you in and gets you headbanging from first note to last.  Love may not live here anymore, but rock and roll never moved out.  The solid bottom end from Bruno Ravel that anchors the track without weighing it down is proof.  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this one has some of the best riffs on the disc at the bridge.  Disc closer “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Me Now” is a bit heavier sonically than most of the other tracks on the disc, but it has every nuance of the other songs with that slightly heavier mood and sound bouncing around in the musical component.  The whole song has a contagious groove that permeates each moment and helps close out the disc on a heavenly ping and squeal ride.

“19 Summertime” is a true representation of every thing that was right about late 80’s LA rock and hair metal.  The big riffs, anthemic lyrics, and contagious wall of sound chorus that get you singing and dancing, even sitting in a chair plugging away in your home office.  This is one of the best songs that wasn’t released back when spandex and hairspray ruled the world.  “Miracle” is a sweet rock ballad that gives us a glimpse into what was and is again… a perfect representation of the ups and downs of romance whether you are 16 or 52.  Paul Laine’s vocals are some of the best on the disc giving us a listen to one of the more emotional deliveries on the disc.  “So Good” is a different track when compared structurally with the others when you listen to the intro and first verse, but before the chorus hits you land in familiar territory.  This song demonstrates once and for all these guys do what they do and they do it better than most these days.  Don’t sleep on the chorus, the bridge, or the guitar hooks and riffs draped all over this track.  “Another Time Another Place” is a love gone wrong song that leans more into what could have been instead of what never was.  Laine’s vocals are again highlighted on a more tempered track that allows his emotion to shine through while Marcello gives us well thought out and even better played solos that accentuate the mood and longing of the track and lyrics.  “The Night To Remember” is another song that features that huge background sound swirled with an anthemic groove that should be heard in arenas around the world.  I have to admit, there is a riff in the track kicking into the chorus that is so familiar, but damned if I can place it.  This song, along with the other ten tracks on this disc, are the perfect 1987 soundtrack and I am so glad I finally got to hear it… now can we get a tour???

Tracklisting: Hey Life – Go Big Or Go Home – 19 Summertime – What Are We Waiting For – Miracle – Against The Grain – So Good – Love Doesn’t Live Here Anymore – Another Time Another Place – The Night To Remember – Nothing’s Gonna Stop Me Now






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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